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Cassian, John (Saint)

(395 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (360, Dobruja – 430/435, Marseille). Born in a Christian home, Cassian undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt, where for more than a decade he was a student of the monastic fathers. During the Origenistic controversies he left Egypt c. 399/400, went to Constantinople and John Chrysostom, went to Rome after the latter's banishment, and ultimately settled in southern Gaul, where in 415 he founded a monastery and a convent. With his writings, in which he reflected on the experiences of ascetic life, he became the teacher of western monasticism (Benedict, Rule of). In D…

Bruno of Segni

(169 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1040/1050, Asti – Jul 18, 1123, Segni, near Rome) was educated in the monastery of St. Perpetua near Asti and studied in Bologna. In 1073, he became a canon of the cathedral at Siena. In 1079, he debated with Berengar of Tours in Rome; shortly thereafter he was elected bishop of Segni. Under Gregory VII and his successors, he was one of the most influential members of the curia. In 1103, he entered the abbey of Monte Cassino and in 1107 became its abbot. Initially, he retained his ecclesiastical offices, but after ¶ the Investiture Controversy (1111) he withdrew …

Sternberg

(159 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mecklenburg). Sternberg is a town north of Schwerin where pogroms took place after Jews were charged with desecrating the host. After a hearing and trial, the accused were burnt at the stake, a prelude to the expulsion of all Jews from Mecklenburg. In the years that followed, the miraculous hosts in Sternberg made it a popular pilgrimage site. Duke Magnus underwrote the building of a chapel of the Sacred Blood. An Augustinian monastery was also built, whose promoters included J. v. Staupitz and Johann v. Paltz. In his An den christlichen Adel, Luther called for the dem…

Confession (of Faith)

(12,201 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph | Kreuzer, Siegfried | Reumann, John | Staats, Reinhart | Holze, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Bible – III. Church History – IV. Systematics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Law – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religions The term confession refers to various phenomena, including the confession of faith and of sin. A confession of faith can be understood as an officially sanctioned, formulaic summary of the central doctrines of a religious or a confessional community (“denomination”). Recited in cultic procedures and/or in everyday piety, i…

Marcellinus

(207 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome Jun 30, 295/296 – Oct 25, 304). His pontificate marks “a dark chapter in the history of the Roman church” (Caspar, 98). He is mentioned in 30th place in the Liber pontificalis , but in many lists of the 4th/5th centuries his name is lacking, his period in office being assigned to his successor Marcellus I. This is because of misconduct during the Diocletian persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I): “He was led to the sacrifice, so that he should perform the incense rite, and he…

Silverius, Pope

(141 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Jun 8, 536 – Nov 11, 537 (deposed; died Dec 2, 537, on the island of Ponza or Palmaria in the Gulf of Gaeta; born in Frozinone, Campania). The Liber pontificalis records that Silverius had been elevated to the episcopate at the instigation of Theodahad, Ostrogoth king of Italy. When the Byzantines under Belisarius laid siege to Rome, Silverius urged surrendering the city without resistance, but he was relieved of his office shortly afterwards. All that is known of his work as bishop of Rome comes from records of ordinations. Heinrich Holze Bibliography LP 1, 1886, 290–295 RPR…

Mark, Pope (Saint)

(170 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome from Jan 18 to Oct 7, 336). When Miltiades was pope, Mark (then a deacon) probably held a leadership position alongside the bishop in the Roman church (Eus. Hist. eccl. X 5.18). There is no evidence of how he reacted to the conflicts over the Nicene Creed (Synod of Tyre in 335; banishment of Athanasius to Trier 335/337). Of Mark the Liber pontificalis says only: “He decreed that the bishop of Ostia, who consecrates the bishop of Rome, should wear the pallium and be consecrated in turn by the bishop of Rome” (2…

Hilarion of Gaza, Saint

(204 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (291–371), was a Palestinian monk, whose life is described by Jerome in the Vita Hilarionis (= VH; c. 390). According to this, Hilarion, who had acquired a philosophical education in Alexandria, was converted and became a student of Anthony, then settled in nearby Gaza as a hermit and performed miracles; he became the founder of Palestinian monastic life. After the death of Anthony (356) Hilarion fled from fame, sought solitude, and embarked on many years of peregrination; this led him to Cyprus,…

Knipstro, Johannes

(191 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (May 1, 1497, Sandau, Altmark – Oct 4, 1556, Wolgast, Pomerania). As a Franciscan monk, Knipstro began his studies at Frankfurt an der Oder, but was then transferred to Pyritz (Pyrzyce), where he emerged in 1521 as one of the first Protestant propagandists in Pomerania. There followed stays in Stettin (Szczecin), Stargard, and Stralsund. In 1531 he was called to Greifswald to implement the Reformation. At the diet of Treptow (Trzebiatów) in1534, which resolved to introduce the Ref…

Rupert of Deutz

(310 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1075/1080, probably near Liège – 1129, Deutz), monastic theologian from the Benedictine abbey of St. Lawrence near Liège. Rupert’s criticism of the simony of Bishop Otbert of Liège during the Investiture Controversy led to his banishment for several years, an exile lamented in his Carmina de sancto Laurentio. In 1108/1109 he was ordained to the priesthood. A few years later, he wrote De divinis officiis, a meditation on the church year, which drew criticism from William of Saint-Thierry on account of its eucharistic doctrine. His De voluntate Dei, a treatise on evi…

Pontian, Pope (Saint)

(165 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (230 – Sep 28, 235). The theological significance of Pontian rests on his express approval of the condemnation of Origen by Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria. His episcopate fell in the period of the schism that had begun under Callistus I. During the persecution of Christians by Maximinus Thrax (235–238), both Pontian and his rival Hippolytus of Rome (217–235) were deported to Sardinia. The date Sep 28, 235, on which he resigned his office, thus ending the schism, is the earliest as…

Zosimus, Pope (Saint)

(123 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Zosimus, of Greek descent, was pope from Mar 18, 417 to Dec 26, 418. His pontificate is controversial, because during the Pelagian controversy (Pelagius/Pelagians) he advocated rehabilitating Celestius, who had presented a confession of faith but was forced to retract his support by a synod in Carthage in 418. Zosimus also created unrest among the Gallic bishops, because in an effort to reinforce Roman primacy he bestowed metropolitan rights on the bishop of Arles. Heinrich Holze Bibliography Sources: CPL 1644–1647 CSEL 35/1, 99–117 LP 1, 223–224 RPR 1, 49–51 Mansi 4,…

Marcellus I

(167 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome May 27/Jun 26, 308 – Jan 16, 309). After a vacancy of several years caused by the persecutions, Marcellus succeeded Marcellinus. According to the Liber pontificalis he was of Roman origin. As bishop, Marcellus reorganized the Roman ¶ congregation, and made “25 titular churches in Rome in effect into parishes, because of the baptism and penance of many converts from the heathen, and because of martyrs to be buried” (LP 164). His moral severity, however, led to fierce controversies. Damasus I wrote on his g…

Sin, Guilt, and Forgiveness

(17,599 words)

Author(s): Krötke, Wolf | Hock, Klaus | Grund, Alexandra | Metzner, Rainer | Holze, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology Sin is a human breach of relationship with God. The term is emptied of content if it is used only for moral lapses. Only if a moral transgression in the mundane world is understood as a dimension of human alienation from God can it properly be called sin. The fundamental act of sin is unfaith (Unbelief ). In unfaith we close our eyes to the fact that we owe our existence to God and that he turns to us in love. We resist the idea that he determines our lives totally. T…

Zephyrin, Saint

(200 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Zephyrin, Saint, bishop of Rome 198–217, 14th name in the earliest Roman episcopal list. The Liber pontificalis states that he issued directives regarding the eucharistic liturgy and the ordination of clergy. Zephyrin is a controversial figure on account of his theology, which tended toward modalism. Hippolytus of Rome calls him a “simple man without education,” who (influenced by his colleague and successor Callistus I) stated his creed: “I know that there is one God, Jesus Christ; nor except him do I know any other that is begotten and amenable to suffering” (Hipp. Hae…

Linus, Pope (Saint)

(225 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (2nd half of the 1st cent.). Since Irenaeus of Lyon, who refers to 2 Tim 4:21, Linus has been regarded as having been appointed by the apostles themselves as the first bishop of the Roman congregation (Iren. Haer. III 3.3; Eus. Hist. eccl. III 2; V 6.1). As the monarchic episcopate in Rome is not discernible before the mid-2nd century, it seems probable that Linus was a presbyter to whom Irenaeus assigned a chronological place in a line of succession reaching back into the time of the apostles, because he wished to safegu…

Mecklenburg

(1,228 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Situated between the Elbe and the Recknitz, Mecklenburg takes its name from the residence of the Obodrite princes in Michelenburg near Wismar. Originally settled by Germanic tribes, it was resettled during the migration period after 600 by West Slavic tribes (Obodrites, Lutycy, Wilcy), which already under Charlemagne and Otto I had come under the sway of the Frankish and then the German empire. As the Slavic rebellion in 983 shows, initial missionary efforts met with resistance. T…

John Climacus (Saint)

(201 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (late 6th cent. – mid-7th cent. ce) was an anchorite for many years and abbot of St. Catherine's Monastery (Sinai, St. Catherine's Monastery). His epithet comes from his major work, Κλίμαξ τοῦ παραδεῖσου/ Klímax toú parade ίsou (“Ladder to heaven”). In this tractate on the ascetic life, with which he became the spiritual teacher of Eastern monasticism, John offers a portrayal of the path that the monk must travel in pursuing perfection. Comparable to Jacob's Ladder, it leads in 30 stages from renunciation of the wor…

Kammin

(203 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] is a city on the Dievenow in Pomerania; since 1176 an episcopal seat, first founded in Wolin in 1140 following the missionary journeys of Otto of Bamberg. The diocese received broad independence (Exemption) since it was subject to the Holy See in Rome, but not to the archdioceses of Gniezno or Magdeburg. In the 13th/14th centuries, the diocese, initially restricted to the territories subject to the dukes ¶ of Pomerania, expanded to the west (Mecklenburg) and southeast (Uckermark, Neumark). In 1248, the bishops of Kammin gained sovereignty over an …

Dorotheus of Gaza

(185 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (500/510, Antioch – 560/580, near Gaza) lived for years in a monastery near Gaza, where he was a student of Barsanuphius and John the Prophet. In 540 he founded his own monastery. His writings include works of spiritual instruction, several letters, a vita, and a collection of aphorisms. Building on Evagrius Ponticus, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom, Dorotheus developed a cenobitic spirituality rooted in baptism. Under the guidance of a spiritual leader, …
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